The Norman Park City Charter clearly states that elected officials are servants of the people and must act for their benefit: “SECTION 2.14...(a) Elected and appointed officers of the city are trustees and servants of the residents of the city and shall act in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of such residents.”

The Norman Park City Council recently mailed questionnaires to all citizens asking, among other questions, if the citizens felt the police department was worth keeping. I strongly suspect an overwhelming majority of respondents felt the police department was worth keeping, though I have not seen actual statistics from the questionnaire.

I further suspect that many members of the public, whom the city council is elected to represent, believe 24/7 police protection is important to Norman Park. Sadly enough, the city council has chosen to do the opposite of what the public wants: it has removed local law enforcement and apparently has no plans to change its mind.

It is a sad day in any community when the city council decides to chart a course that is clearly contrary to what the majority of those in town want. Is this what our democracy has become? Of course, there are always those in any town who do not want the police watching them but those are not in the majority in Norman Park.

It is my personal opinion that the Norman Park City Council has openly violated its own City Charter by not acting in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of its residents. This cannot stand.

While I appreciate the fact that the Norman Park City Council has acted to reduce expenses, it should never be forgotten that it takes a certain amount of money to effectively operate any City Hall “in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of such residents”. The City Council may object to how much it costs to operate city hall, but reducing services solely to reduce costs endangers far more lives than saving a few dollars can ever help. Is it really worth putting lives at risk to save a few dollars? Think about endangering your family, is that really worth it? And what profound benefit will those few saved dollars provide that is worth endangering our seniors, shut-ins, and poor who cannot defend themselves? It is always worth spending those extra tax dollars to provide for their safety. How can anyone say no, especially elected officials?

Until tax base erosion, infrastructure decline, antiquated/non-existent policies, elected official apathy, missed grant opportunities, ineffective department oversight, little or no long term planning and many more systemic issues are directly addressed Norman Park will always have to deal with higher taxes. But endangering lives to accomplish expense reduction is never an acceptable option.

Government of the people, by the people and for the people must return to Norman Park. Citizens deserve no less.

Mark Powell

Norman Park

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0